Second Evening at Disneyland

After our snack at Jolly Holiday Bakery we headed back down Main Street USA to the very front of the park. It was important to me on our trip to do as much as we possibly could at the parks…including some special less popular items.

I had read about a special band performance that takes place each day at Disneyland and at one particular show time several characters join the band and do a little performance at the train station at the front of the park.

I confirmed with cast members that this was taking place that day at the time I’d read (12:30) and we got a spot nice and early facing the train station (our backs to Main Street).

It was a wonderful bit of downtime as we waited for the band performance to take place. The weather was beautiful. We had a gorgeous view. It was a chance to really just sit and reflect upon our blessings of being able to have such an incredible experience on such a magical trip!

Cast members soon came over as a small group of us were sitting down in the area where we knew the show would take place. Of course the cast members instantly were drawn to Britt and had her lead everyone in a game of Simon Says. She had them all jumping and jiving and burning some calories!

She and Tess also made fast friends with another sister set who were also wearing matching dresses and were the same ages at Britt and Tess! It was so cute watching them all play together.

The band played their way down Main Street with several of our favorite Disney friends leading the way. Y’all. This moment. It gave me chills and tears in my eyes. If I was a local to Disneyland it’d be my replacement for the lack of an opening show. It was AWESOME.

Totally and completely my personal favorite thing at either park. I ADORED it. Hearing the band, seeing the characters. It was magic and joy and FUN and just everything a moment at Disney should be! Loved, loved, LOVED it. If you’re visiting Disneyland I consider it a must do!

Here are a few videos: video 1, video 2 and Donald coming to get a Britt kiss!

Of course our fav Donald found us πŸ˜‰

And we lingered a bit (since we were early for our lunch) and got to meet some fun Disney horses too!

Zach and I ate at the Red Rose Tavern on our trip a few years ago and were eager to try it out as a family. I love that Disneyland just has such gorgeous weather that you can sit outside and not be sweating like crazy! I loved eating and people watching!

We had a good seat not just for people watching…but character watching too!

Slightly enjoying herself πŸ˜‰

We tried to keep things affordable on the trip but also wanted to let the kids just ORDER too. We did our best to make it fun while keeping it as cheap as we could πŸ˜‰

I’d read that the Poutine was supposed to be EPIC. I hadn’t had it since Zach and I visited Toronto so I went for it and it did not disappoint!

A really awesome thing about being at Disneyland is hearing about Walt’s favorite things. Knowing he was SO hands on in so many details of the park. One such attraction is the Storybook Canal Boats.

We weren’t able to ride them that morning due to crazy long lines and there being an issue with several of the boats. But it opened back up by early afternoon so we hit it up. It was SO MUCH cuter than I’d anticipated it being.

I mentioned in our whale watching post about the strangers who were interested in our family throughout our trip. I typically didn’t get any sort of icky feeling about it but this dude BUGGED me. Get off my kids right? He sat SO CLOSE to them and kept looking at them in a way that just bugged me. I didn’t say anything because he didn’t do anything particularly wrong just icky in general and after the ride Zach said he had felt the same feeling and had been keeping an eye on him the whole time!

A photo that always sticks in my mind is one of Walt beside this whale when he was building the park!

The ride is a boat ride around a little canal with miniature castles and figurines of Disney movies. New and old!

Something that made this trip extra special was Tess being tall enough to ride many thrill rides for the first time. It was so awesome to be in California and having those firsts for her!

Zach and the three kids went to ride Splash Mountain and I had a little treat while I waited for them.

It cracked me up y’all. In Florida at the parks when you order an ice cream you better SCARF IT DOWN. Because that junk will start melting even before you open the wrapping. In California? They are frozen SO SOLID that I had to sit and sit and sit and wait for it to defrost some. I’m talking hard as a rock here!

Splash Mountain is different in Disneyland…it’s a single rider sled rather than rows and the dip is shorter but there are several rather than just one long one.


Three happy campers! Tess LOVED it!!!

Our crew LOVES Tom Sawyer Island at Magic Kingdom so I wanted to make sure to check out the Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland. It’s a more pirate themed area and I knew the kids would enjoy exploring what it had to offer.

On our boat ride over to the island we were joined by a gang of pirates who were AMAZING. They had us all sign a song that you know no Parker has sung before about “Whiskey and Johnny” it was SO CATCHY and we had to get the kids to forget the words haha. It did strike us as so funny that they’d be singing this song at Disney!!!

While I was waiting on the kids and Zach at Splash Mountain I went to talk to a cast member a bit to see if she had any insider scoop on anything. I love chatting up cast members and learn so much from them!

I mentioned we’d just gotten Kye a backpack and that he was wanting to collect pins to go on it and asked if she had any random ones by chance. She said once the kids came back from the ride that we could answer a trivia question to become Honorary Disneyland Citizens!

Of course we were all about it and had to answer the question of what seven original Disney movies are one word titles and that title is the name of a character in the movie?

Want the answer? Dumbo, Cinderella, Tarzan, Aladdin, Mulan, Pocahontas, and Pinocchio (Moana would also count).

Kye was BEAMING with his new special pin!

Exploring the island!

Pirate’s Life for US!

I had planned for us to ride the Disneyland Railroad all around the entire park but instead we decided just to ride it from one section to another. We wanted to head back up to Tomorrowland and it was the perfect opportunity to hop on and we were able to see the section of the train ride where there were added elements to enjoy!

We never get sick of Buzz!!!

Again, I really wanted to experience all we could at the parks and I heard wonderful things about the Royal Theater and their productions. They have several shows a day but the morning showings are Beauty and the Beast and the afternoon are Tangled. I read that if you could only see one viewing to see the Tangled version so that’s what we did!

We were nice and early and were all able to have awesome seats to enjoy the show!

However, neither Zach or I could really enjoy the show AT ALL. Because we were too consumed in watching some major Disney Drama unfold.

Before the show began security came in and asked if anyone had left their stroller parked on the side of the show area. WITH TWO KIDS SLEEPING IN IT.

No one claimed it.

So the ENTIRE show the stroller sat just outside the show area with two sleeping children and a TON of security. It was C-RAZY. Like who leaves their kids?!? Right?!?!

First it was just a security guy. Then more hardcore security came and some obviously higher up cast members. The show was a solid 30ish minutes long. I just can’t fathom any parent leaving their children!

Finally the security took the stroller and started pushing it. I assume they had planned to go to the front of the park to the security department with the kids and try to find their parents from there.

Just as they were leaving a man ran up to them and claimed the kids. Apparently (from what we could gather) the man AND his wife were INSIDE the show we were watching sitting up near the front where we were sitting. THE ENTIRE TIME.

Now I can honestly see if my baby was asleep parking the stroller where I could see it from the show or something to let them sleep rather than disturb them. But you better bet that Zach or I would be sitting directly beside the stroller keeping a constant eye on them.

And even more so how do you go THIRTY MINUTES and not notice that tons of security are surrounding your children?!?! Clearly these parents never even GLANCED the way of their sleeping children! While the rest of the audience couldn’t keep our eyes OFF of their kids, they must have just been totally zoned into the show and never once even glanced away to check on their unguarded children. C-RAZY.

You can see the security and the cast members to the left. How could you NOT see that taking place?!?!

Aside from the missing parent drama…the show was truly adorable. It is a cute retelling of the movie with little songs and funny moments. Perfect for kids and adults alike!

A couple videos: video one and video two

Even preteens will like it πŸ˜‰

The theater is located in the same area as the princess meet and greets. We didn’t do any meet and greets on our trip with characters we can meet at home. We meet them often enough that we didn’t want to use up park time on doing that! But we did enjoy seeing the area πŸ™‚

Perfecting her smolder πŸ˜‰

We split up so Zach and Kye could ride Space Mountain. As it was already re-themed for Halloween. They were able to ride the regular version on our first day at the park and the Halloween version this day! It really couldn’t have worked out better with our trip timing to have a chance to see the Halloween theming at the parks!

Kye said the Halloween overlay for Space Mountain was CRAZY and truly scary! He loved it!

What did the girls and I do? NEMO of course! Out of all the experiences of our trip Nemo is the thing the girls talk about the most!

After we joined back up Zach took the kids to ride Star Tours while I headed to get us a good viewing spot for the Pixar Play Parade.

Star Tours is the same ride at Disneyland and Hollywood Studios BUT this was the first time Tess was tall enough to ride so it was something they all wanted to make sure to do! Of course, she loved it!

I tell y’all…I can’t pass a photo pass photographer that doesn’t have a line and not stop for a photo! Random Cheshire Cat but why not right?

Tom from Disney Tourist Blog is my FAVORITE Disney Blogger. I read his posts regularly and pretty much always agree with him. I read through this post on what to pack for Disney before our trip and am SO glad I purchased this blanket! 

It folds up SUPER tiny and then opens to be very large! It’s perfect to put out for a parade! At Disneyland it’s a common thing to lay out blankets for parades and people don’t sit on your blanket space. It was PERFECT for holding our spot for the kids while they were on Star Tours!

I had read that the Pixar Play Parade starts right by It’s A Small World and that it’s a less crowded viewing area than Main Street and that turned out to be very true! I had no problem getting a fabulous spot and no issues holding it for our crew.

For myself, my favorite thing was the Main Street Band performance earlier that afternoon. As a mama? My favorite moment from the trip was watching the kids during the Pixar Play Parade.

Sorry not sorry in advance for all the reaction pics I took but y’all. Kye and Britt were just SO HAPPY and SO EXCITED. It made my mama heart above and beyond happy to see them with this much TRUE JOY!

Britt is pretty much always super expressive and excited so it didn’t shock me as much as it did to see KYE getting SO into it. Oh y’all. It truly gives me tears in my eyes remembering back to the looks on his face. Yes he’s growing up…but that little boy? He’s still there. And during this parade that little boy. My little baby Kye shown through. I remember his first Disney parade (ironically which was also a Pixar themed one) and here were are and he’s almost 10 and still loving it.

Everyone was sitting down watching the parade come our way…but Britt? She was the only one UP and DANCING the entire time! Love it!

Tess is much more of a chill personality who is less expressive but more internal in her joy. She loves watching others have fun and I promise she enjoys it all too, just in a less obvious way πŸ˜‰

This. This is WHY we took this trip. Go before they lose the magical y’all. GO. Take the trip. Make the memories. THIS is what it was all about for me. I just wanted to have this experience while Kye was still young enough to love it for HIMSELF. Not as a big brother enjoying seeing his younger siblings experience the magic but still young enough to truly have that magic for himself. And we did it. It happened over and over this trip. It was perfect and above and beyond all my hopes!!!

A big reason the kids loved the parade so much? You. Get. SOAKED. And I think the characters found it extra funny to drench the parents haha!

Of course Britt got lots of high fives and cast member love! I can totally see this girl being Britt in the future!

The way Britt is watching her…yall I’m sitting here just melting looking through all these pics and reliving these moments. SO SPECIAL!!!

Smiling so big you can see it from their cheeks!

I took four videos from the parade: video 1, video 2, video 3 and video 4!

We hit up Small World again since we were right by it! We all just loved it so much we were eager to see all the hidden characters again!

Stitch for Spear!

We’d planned to eat Pizza Planet for lunch the next day but decided to go ahead and have it for dinner. I was really not wanting what they had to offer so went for bread sticks and they were a disappointment haha

Popcorn for dinner? Sure!

Pizza again when they’d just had it for lunch? Sure!

Much like our full day at Disney California Adventure we skipped naps and stayed all day. Between our little bit of time at the park on our first day and our full day that day we literally had done IT ALL at Disneyland! We didn’t even stay until close!

On our way out it was really important to me to see Great Moments with Mr Lincoln. Walt Disney had a deep love and appreciation for Abe Lincoln and this was a very special area to him. I loved walking around in the lobby area taking it all in and loved watching the show too! As did the kids! Kye is especially very into history now and found it all very interesting.

Many elements from Great Moments with Mr Lincoln have been adapted into Hall of Presidents at Magic Kingdom and The Great American Adventure at Epcot!

The bench that started it all πŸ™‚ I will talk more about the bench in a future post!

Lookin’ Good Abe!

Not getting political…if you get the reason we took this pic then you get it πŸ˜‰

Tess has seen a few Muppet Babies and LOVES it! Had to show her Jim Hanson!

My hero πŸ™‚ Couldn’t have been a better way to end a PERFECT day!!!

Even our hotel had converted into Halloween that day! It was so neat walking up to all the spooky decor!

It was nice that the park closed early and didn’t have any sort of night show. Being back at the room before 8 meant a good nights rest for everyone before our LAST DAY!!!

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